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on September 2, 2009
For the longest time, office politics for me was like an incomprehensible and invisible current running throughout the company. Something slippery that I couldn't grasp--even though it permeated and affected everything. The result was many politically boneheaded moves on my part. I spent a lot of time frustrated when trying to get things done that involved other people. I was continually perplexed at how people showing little skill could gain huge amounts of destructive influence. And more perplexed at how these people could retain their influence even after creating failure after failure within an organization.

Office politics are a fact of life. It doesn't matter if you like them or not. It doesn't matter if you think politics are amoral or wrong. It doesn't matter if you think things should be different. Similar to the way gravity is a fact of life, whether you like it or not or think it should be different. The simple fact is that office politics exist and they affect you.

This book is a tightly written guide to understanding them and using them. As soon as I got into the book, a lot of things that had left me puzzled over the years became clear. And the landscape of politics, past and present, that previously seemed hidden came into plain view. The author is very adept at breaking everything down into easily understood concepts. I also like that the book has exercises to help you assess your political strengths and weaknesses and develop political skill in a variety of areas.

Some people seem to have an innate understanding of office politics. I didn't. Many don't. Those of us that don't have that understanding will find ourselves at the mercy of those that do. This book can put us on the right track to achieving the same level of political savvy.

If you want to learn: how politics work in an organization, how to limit damage done by destructive people with power and how to cultivate power and influence for yourself--read this book.
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on August 1, 2005
The title of Chapter One in Secrets to Winning at Office Politics says it all, "Politics is not a dirty word." Office politics has always had a negative connotation but in reality it has just taken a bad rap. Secrets reminds us that office politics is simply the reality of relationships and Dr. Marie McIntyre shows us all how to play the game - honestly, ethically and successfully.

McIntyre uses real life examples from her experience working for a Fortune 500 company and her consulting business to give the reader an excellent view of the real world at the office. Her straightforward yet entertaining style is refreshing and her practical advice and self-assessment questions and surveys make the book a gem.

Secrets lays out in very practical and anecdotal style how one can succeed simply by understanding the unwritten rules of working with and for someone. What is unique about the book is the openness with which the subject is discussed - the real life examples are those we can all relate to as an employee, a boss, a parent, a teacher or a friend. It provokes a kind of self-evaluation that some people never seriously consider.

Give this book to every high school or college graduate you know! If you are the boss, read it, and then encourage your employees to do the same. It's a keeper.
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on January 4, 2011
I was recommended this book by a successful working professional. I found that this book is very straighforward and honest in discussing the personalities, power, and dynamics of work environments. In parallel, I read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carenegie. While Carnegie's book is useful in dealing with "most people", McIntyre's is better: it aknowledges that there are friends, colleagues, adveraries, and potential enemies. Having aknowledged this, she presents effective and useful strategies thay have been found to work in most situations. McIntyre also corretly states that there wil be situations where the only effective solution is to have an exit strategy and a clear and defined alternative goal.

I cannot stress enough how useful the advice presented in this book is for personal relationships as well. Read the book and subsitute the words "workplace", "colleague", "manager", with "circle of friends", "friend", and "friend of circle of friends who as more power than you do". The same concepts apply. Carnegie's book unfortunatley does not acknowledge that there are toxic people in the professional and personal world, and if taken at face value one may be in danger of being a push over. McIntyre's book, on the other hand, calls a spade a spade and provides solutions that, if incorporated over time, will generally improve your professional and personal life.
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on April 16, 2008
This book has changed my work life for the better. I feel more comfortable at work now because I have more realistic expectations and I feel prepared for difficult 'office politics' situations. The book is interesting and offers real-life situations that I can relate to.

Pretty much everyone has to contend with Office Politics in their job at some point or other. It often doesnt matter who is wrong and who is right in offices, but how a situation is handled. Can you think of a time when you know you should have handled a situation differently, but are unsure what you should have done? Can you think of a time when you lost leverage because of your own actions? Be honest. We all have shot ourselves in the foot. Why stay ignorant? Come into the light!

I love this book. My sister cant wait to read it after I'm done.
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on May 30, 2011
I bought the book for my son who is three years into an advertising sales career with a major newspaper group. He is definitely naive when it comes to office politics, yet is adept at reading people when it comes to selling. After a management shakeup in his department, I realized he needs to be able to read the signs, watch his back and guide his own path in the future. So, I bought him this book and "The 48 Laws Of Power" by Robert Greene. The 48 Laws of Power, Concise Edition

I read "Secrets Of Winning at Office Politics" to see if it was in line with what I wanted. A definite yes. The book provides a practical guide to recognizing what is going on, spotting covert moves, and dealing with them effectively. It will also be a good reference guide after an initial reading. For a father who is trying to wise his kids up to the realities of the work world, this book earns an A+.
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on January 11, 2010
One of the best things about the book is that it's not boring! Refreshingly blunt and full of practical information, the book is clearly and concisely written, and easily understood. It's interesting because it uses many great anecdotes and real life examples we can all relate to. I saw myself and some co-workers in many of the examples. The book is useful because it helps you recognize and relate to certain situations and behaviors, and then explains how to fix them by offering the reader alternative viewpoints and constructive behaviors. It's like the wise mentor we all wish we had. Maybe Office Dynamics would be a better term than Office Politics, but either way, it's really about "Personal workplace psychology."

I especially appreciated the book because it made me realize that I'm not the only one who's either done stupid things, worked with difficult people, or worked in a unprofessional environment. I can't imagine a good MBA program that doesn't include this as part of the required reading list. I read it cover-to-cover, and I plan on reading it again in about a year.
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on February 4, 2012
This is an excellent read especially for those who find themselves at large corporations. It takes a very practical and sensible approach to thriving in the corporate world and pointing out and remedying when necessary the many pitfalls and challenges that many of so naively walked into - well, it's not like you can take a college course on office politics. This is not a book on succeeding in business through guerrilla tactics which people may find immoral or offensive. However, this does not mean that the author is naive about the real world and takes a rosy superficial approach to the real corporate world challenges.

The book covers many real world scenarios that she has seen personally in her many years in the business world helping people. If you are politically inept and find yourself walking through this world emotionally reacting and not purposefully thinking and acting on issues, then you are in luck, this book gives practical guidance in preventing unknowing political suicide. It will also help many of us, who recognizes some of these important but are unsure of ourselves in dealing with them, or we would like to learn more.

It discusses issues like political power, leverage, allies, dealing with adversaries and avoiding political pitfalls. Here are a few highlights to give you a taste.

"Acceptance of the Organizational Facts of Life is an absolute prerequisite for developing Political Intelligence. Otherwise, you will find yourself constantly agonizing about whether you are being treated 'fairly' and fretting about fairness is a complete waste of time."

"There are four common causes of career destruction, 1 poorly controlled emotions, 2 a victim mentality, 3 self-centered goals 4 foolish reactions to change."

"Most people, most of the time, operate on autopilot. They proceed through the day doing whatever comes naturally. Sometimes things go their way and sometimes not. In a sense, they're unconscious of their own behavior, of their effect on others, of any point of view except their own."

Not only does the book explain the issues directly and through examples, it offers lots of insight into those problems, it guides you and directs you how to immediately starting working on them through specific tasks that you can readily do.
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on October 13, 2012
I bought this book last year when things at my workplace had gone so bad that I as well as other members of staff were seen as the "Problem" and the CEO wanted us out of the organisation. I took the advise that this book had to offer and implemented them although I had to admit that implementing some of the recommendations were very difficult for me especially when I thought I had done nothing wrong. What the book says is true."The person with most power wins" "Getting worked up about fairness is a waste of time and politically stupid. Leverage is the key to getting what you want and if you have enough leverage, fairness is no longer an issue." The book really gives guidance on how to win at office politics. After reading, I realised the politically stupid things I have been doing and started making changes immidiately.In short, after a few months, I was seen as being one of the most helpful people in the organistion. Infact when my other collegues were shown the gate, I was maintained and this year when I had a new job the CEO did not want me to leave! I will buy any book written by Marie. Marie, you did a great job by writing this book.
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on February 28, 2010
I've read a lot of books on leadership and self-improvement however I've never come across a book that was so insightful on the strategic survival and advancement in the workplace. In a word, this book was phenomenal. I wish I had this book when I first started my career in law enforcement 14 years ago. The book is jam-packed with real scenarios, people and behaviors that kept me engaged from start to finish. This book was recommended to me in an Assertive Supervision course and I highlighted and flagged the heck out of my copy!
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on September 8, 2014
I first read Winning at Office Politics 5 years ago. I was working in a dead end job packing boxes all day. This book showed me how to work within a dysfunctional team and come out on top. I learned how to effectively leverage my skills. Because of this book, over the last 5 years I have received multiple promotions and now run 4 departments. Warehouse Clerk to Operations Manager and it started with Winning at Office Politics. I have purchased this book for one of my new employees with the hope that he will have success as well.
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